Monday, March 12, 2012

The Factory - Join us for an Actual Practice!

Chicago, IL - Continuing our tour of the factory where we rehearse, in a tiny forgotten industrial neighborhood that is slowly being flanked and consumed by encroaching condos on all sides... come on inside and sit in on our rehearsal. Feel free to move my guitar case off the couch and relax while I take you through this batch of photos.

Our rehearsals typically go something like this...


And this particular rehearsal featured here was a mere two days prior to the CD release back on February 20. We rehearse "in the round," as they say. Usually it's at night, but this scene was right after our daytime "promo photo shoot" with Rob Gaczol (that blog is coming soon too). Mr. Gaczol followed us upstairs and documented this pre-release "dress rehearsal."

The first song felt great (to me). I was in a zone. The band is getting tighter and I'm excited for the release.

But wait... there's a problem, isn't there? Damn it!


Sometimes (now that the band has these songs down and I can get lost in the moment at rehearsal instead of teaching the songs... which is a first for me by the way - usually the musicians I assemble in the past for shows/recordings flake on me for a variety of reasons after a few months or couple of shows - see this blog for details)... Anyway, what I'm getting at is... sometimes I'm oblivious to something that is affecting Matt or someone else at rehearsal because I'm focused on working my stuff out. I noticed something was bothering them after the first song.

Matt explains the problem...


Today, there is an issue with Roxy's mic. Matt's sort of in charge of the board once Freddy gets everything plugged in and heads across the room to his space in our circle (Freddy is the factory connection to Dan Lakin who generously lets us practice here, btw. Thanks, Dan!)

So the thing is with practicing "in the round," if the monitors aren't positioned juuussst right, there can be feedback issues since we're all facing weird directions and our mics sometimes aren't aligned perfectly. Or sometimes it's a simple issue where the levels aren't right and "we need more Roxy in the mix!"

Thankfully Matt's there to work it out with her.

But damn it, we just can't seem to build momentum before this show. The FitzGerald's show was a fun show but it really didn't come together like we know it could. And that show was on the heals of a few stressful rehearsals too.

We wait anxiously while Matt performs some board maintenance...


Chris prays with me (below) that everything comes together. Hahaha. At least that's what I imagine when I saw this photo below. In retrospect, he's probably just praying someone brought beers.


Alright let's try this again...


Mmm... hmmm... feelin it....


Claire puts down her fiddle and plays bells on the first track of the CD (third of the set), "The Bridge"... (listen to The Bridge here)... (read about the making of The Bridge here)... look at Claire playing bells in rehearsal in this photo...


Happy to report virtually nothing else went wrong from here out...


Freddy concurs!

Things lighten up... oh yeah, we got this sh$t down...


(A sip of water for me. Sure enough we have no beers somehow.) Claire's ready to bow...



We're set for the record release! Which went AMAZINGLY by the way!! (Photos and story coming on this here blog soon!!)

Say "see ya there," Freddy...


(For more info on this project and samples etc., please see the official Trakan site here. Blog with you soon!)

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